In an intriguing and wide-ranging lecture for The Long Now Foundation, political scientist Francis Fukuyama defends the thesis from his well-known article and book, The End of History, of the arc of history toward democracy and freedom. As a believer in the idea (though not inevitability) of progress, I enjoyed hearing Fukuyama’s arguments. I was especially intrigued by the potential practical policy implications for bringing about “the end of history” (in the Hegelian, not Singularian sense). If we believe in the ideal of liberal democracy in delivering human freedom and prosperity, how should we promote it in those areas of the world still mired in serious ethnic, political, and economic turmoil? While economic prosperity is correlated with liberal democracy, does that mean we should we concentrate on spurring economic growth to help the impoverished and subjugated (more often than not the same people)? Fukuyama argues, based on historical societal evolution, that political institutions ensuring rule of law and other basic governmental functions must first be in place to allow for such economic progress to occur. (See “Chapter 8: Poverty” of the FORA TV streaming video of the lecture for details.) I find these considerations especially interesting in light of the seeming failure of the neoconservative attempt to foist liberal democracy on one of those subjugated peoples in Iraq. Fukuyama gives us much to ponder, and in an era of continuing ethnic strife and terrorism, I think some reasons to be hopeful.